A positive and product meeting.
Following the pre-planned Pier Road Traders meeting with representatives from the Environment Agency and Arun District Council, we were pleased that the originally works planned to begin on the 3rd September 2012 have now been postponed until the first week in October. This taking in concerns that partially closing Pier Road to vehicular traffic and closing off the river-side footpath would cause too much disruption during September, which is traditionally a very busy month for the road.
So it was agreed that the first exploratory drilling would take place in Arun Parade, with the works and associated disruption to Pier Road due to take place in October.
Today, Thursday 18th September 201, exploratory drilling works begins in Arun Parade with the first bore hole being bored by the EA’s contractor, Furgo UK.
Once the results of the exploratory drilling are available, work will then begin on the actual design of the Sea Defences. At our meeting, the EA outlined a preliminary timetable as follows:
September/October – 2012 – exploratory drilling work and analysis of the same.
November – Once the EA and their Contractors know exactly what lies beneath the sea following the drilling, the actual design of the Sea Defence will take place. So at this stage, there isn’t a finished design of what the actual sea defences will look like.
While no actual date to carry out the building of the sea defences has been set at this early stage, it’s anticipated that works will commence Autumn 2013 with the project, including the enhancement of Pier Road and the new walkways etc being completed by Spring 2014.
Undoubtedly, these works will change the future of Littlehampton’s Seafront Sea defences for generations to come and hopefully bring about a whole new regeneration for Pier Road and it’s environs.
What did come out of our meeting, which is both a worry and a disappointment is that Arun District Council do not have a final plan for their enhancements to Pier Road. While understandably the Environment Agency cannot complete their underwater design of the sea defence until the results of the exploratory drilling are known, they stressed that the above ground area would remain the same, regardless.
But, Arun District Council, despite spending money on Consultants/designers fees, public workshops, stakeholder’s workshops, have yet to actually come up with a final design, or even decide about future parking and traffic flow arrangements for Pier Road, which I find worrying.
What follows is a number of pictures of the first bore hole from the yellow mark in the road, to the actual installation of the Drilling equipment.